Friday, December 9, 2016

Stress Relief?

What is your Stress Relief?

If you don't have one...you should.

To relieve stress, I will "fun" read or "craft" or "sew". 

For Roger's 60th Birthday this year, our son and daughter-in-law purchased him a carving pen making class.  WOW............what a difference that has made.  He has had a very stressful year with his secular job.  (They are out-sourcing to India.) 

He makes pens; ink pens with refillable cartridges.  He has gone WILD.  The store where he took the class is even impressed.  He is making pens out of pinecones....out of wood....out of deer horns.....out of acrylic....out of just about anything he can fine and they are BEAUTIFUL, and unique.

He has sold LOTS of them and given even MORE AWAY for gifts.  BUT....the most important thing..............he has given him a way to relief some stress.

What is your stress relief?
The top pen....bottom half is made out of a pinecone.
 

The 2nd one from the top is made of pinecone at the bottom and olive wood from Jerusalem on the top.  (He has started ordering "different" wood.)

This are acrylic and comes in lots of colors.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

20 Years of Ministry....at the SAME CHURCH

Well.....in January, we will have been at Whites Creek Baptist Church for twenty years.


TWENTY YEARS......


Some days it seems like we just began our ministry there and other days it seems like we have been there forever.


Our children grew up there.  They were 7 years old and 11 years old when we went there.


Over the years............many folks have gone on to be with the Lord.  Some have moved out of town.  Some have become shut-ins and because of their health are no longer able to attend church.  Others....have just left the church for one reason or another.


The first Sunday we were there, they had 12 in Sunday School and 32 for preaching....and we were four of those.  Today....only one person, Mr. Jim is still living and able to attend church pretty regularly.  We have one other lady, Mrs. Margaret......but her health has declined the last year to the point that if she is able to come to church, Sunday School is all she can handle.


It is sad to think about the fact that those two are the only members still there.  However....on our first Sunday, the youngest deacon was 77 years old, so we were called to an older congregation.


Today.....85% of our congregation is under the age of 35.  WHAT A CHANGE!


God choses to lead some pastors to several churches over their ministry and others stay long term at churches.  We have always worked in churches.  Roger was the Minister of Music, Youth Minister, Associate Pastor, etc.  BUT....Whites Creek Baptist Church was the first church that he ever pastored......and it appears it will be the only church he pastors.  We are not sure why that was God's plan, but we do know that he is not finished with us there yet.


Some of the leaders in our church were teens that Roger baptized.  What a blessing to be able to stay long enough to see some of the seeds that were planted.............


Our prayers are that we will stay as long as God intends for us to stay, but when it is time for us to leave, we will leave gracefully.


We feel very blessed to be allowed to serve and witness the changes at Whites Creek Baptist Church.


I know you have a story too.  I would love to hear it.





Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Tennessee......what's happening?

I was on the computer messaging back and forth to my niece who is in Singapore and I told her that as soon as they left Tennessee....we went to pot.
  • A few weeks ago the horrible school bus wreck happened in Chattanooga, where six were killed.
  • Then the FIRES.......we live in Dayton which is in Rhea County.  For a few weeks, the air quality was so horrible that everyone had to stay inside because of all of the forrest fires on Signal Mountain and on Cumberland Mountain and the wind was blowing it up from Georgia.
  • .  THEN....the HORRIBLE FIRES that destroyed lives and lots of the Gatlinburg area...which affects all of us.  People from all over the USA visit the Smokey's every year.
  • Next....in the middle of the fires, in December....we had tornado weather.  One night, we were up all night.  The weather alerts kept going off...another tornado was coming our way.  I am pretty sure we were under a tornado WARNING for most of the night.  And just across the river in Athens, a tornado touched  down and done lots of damage.
It is hard to know whether God is trying to tell Tennessee something or, like Pat Brown said.....Satan is trying to stop God's people from doing great works in Tennessee.


Regardless...............we need to PRAY. 

Like Mrs. Pat said in her Facebook post....in the middle of all of the tragedies, God's Love and Grace is being witnessed.  I think Satan would LOVE for us to ignore that and only see the bad.



Let's US help to make sure that Satan does not win the victory..................share the good.


The folks in our great state came together to help CHATTANOOGA.
They came together to help GATLINBURG.
And they came together to help ATHENS.


(These are just a few of the "happenings" near me.............I know all of you probably have stories to share and I would love to hear them.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Singapore

I am so proud of my niece and her husband.  They have been working with Young Life in Franklin, TN........and last year, God began to lead them to go to Singapore to work with Young Life.


They sold their home and most of their possessions.  He gave up a great job and she gave up her Nurse Practitioner job.  They left their church.  They left their friends and they left their family.


Three months ago they boarded the plane in a huge step of faith, taking their two children (1 year old and 2 1/2 year old)...and traveled to a different culture.  A place where EVERYTHING is different....but the same.  The culture, food and transportation is completely different, but the young people's hunger for God is the same.


I would like to ask you to PLEASE put them on your Prayer Lists.  They KNOW they are where God has led them, but even so.....during the holidays, it is very lonely to be away from family. 


My daughter made them a sign and we had it sent to Singapore.


Missionary:  (noun):  A person who leaves his family for a short time so that others may live with their families for an eternity.


(They left a mom, dad, three grandparents, sisters & their husbands and a brother......not to mention a host of other family and friends.)


I am posting pictures so you will have faces to pray for.  Their names are Nick and Danae Ireland and the boys are Bennett and Jackson.


Thank you in advance for your prayers.


Even Christmas is different............it is summer all the time!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Merry CHRISTmas!

During this HECTIC time of the year......it is refreshing to re-live "the Magic of Christmas" through our grandchildren's eyes.  They are sooo excited and it is contagious!

Cameron just turned four a couple of weeks ago and Kinley will be three in February.

They are old enough to understand that Christmas is Baby Jesus' birthday.  BUT..every baby they meet, they want to know if that is Baby Jesus?  (I guess they are a little confused...but they will understand as they get older.  The seeds are being planted.)

During this Crazy, Busy, Tiring Season....let us slow down and celebrate and the children do.

Merry Christmas from the Britton's!


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Tennessee Wildfires

My heart  has been heavy this week.

While we live clear across the state from Sevier County, we have vacationed and retreated there for over ten years. The sights and people are near and dear to us . . .

Here is the Facebook post of one of our most loyal and supportive blog readers, Pat Brown:

I keep seeing that God is speaking to East TN and that may be true. However, I believe this is the work of satan. Sometimes we forget how powerful he is. TBC just had an amazing Summit in Sevierville a couple weeks ago and God IS moving in our state. People are getting about the Father's business and satan is scared. So let's don't get mad at God. Through the fires, tornadoes, murder/suicide and all the other stuff happening around us, we continue to see miracles He's done during these tragedies. I've never heard such a great call for prayer and the recognition that prayer is needed and is working, from so many on tv. We can't understand all this, but I choose to trust that God has all this under control. So don't give up on God. Keep spreading His love.


 I think she is spot on.

Here is the letter our state convention president, Randy Davis, emailed out today:



Dear Tennessee Baptists, 
As one who lived nearly 20 years in East Tennessee, and 10 in Sevier County, my heart is breaking for the people of Gatlinburg and the surrounding area. So many of them are close personal friends. I am getting reports of at least two of our churches that have been partially or completely burned, and other iconic places and businesses that have been destroyed by the wildfires that have swept across southeastern Tennessee over the past three weeks. Unfortunately, reports are also coming in that there have been a number of fatalities.
However, you’ll be proud to know that within 24 hours, Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief teams mobilized and were on site serving evacuees and others. There are feeding units and chaplains on the scene and more teams are staging to deploy. 
But we need your help. This has been one of the most taxing years on our Disaster Relief teams with well over 20 callouts serving hurricane and flood victims in West Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Louisiana to name a few. But now, our fellow Tennesseans need us to rally. 
Please consider making a financial contribution to Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief. You can make that contribution online by going to tndisasterrelief.org/contributions or by mailing your check designated “Gatlinburg” to Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, P.O. Box 728, Brentwood, TN 37024. 
And above all pray. The emotional, physical, and economic impact of this event is enormous. We need our Great God to pour out His mercy and grace in this situation. 
And from someone who made his home for more than 10 years among these beautiful mountains and dear friends, I personally thank you for your help and prayers. 
It is a comfort and honor to be with you on this journey.
-Randy Davis
God is moving and working in the midst of the fire . . . . He is not blindsided by this, nor is He wasting the opportunity . . . . The question is "How will we join Him in His work?" 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Intentional Christmas

It's baaaaaack!

"The Most Busiest Time of the Year . . . ."

Yesterday was the official start of the Christmas season, the first Sunday of Advent.

My man and I sat with the calendar pulled up on my IPad after our daughters were in bed.We added pageants and parties. The little squares began to quickly fill. The "notes" were cluttered with reminders to bring a dish or an ornament or both a dish and an ornament.

With lots of expectations placed on our family by well-meaning church members and by myself, I find myself quickly feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Is that a cold-sore forming on the side of my mouth?

Dear Sister, PLEASE, do let this season be the fertile ground Satan uses to rob you of the joy to be found during this "Most Wonderful Time of the Year." We can be SO busy with all the Christmas activities that we miss the TRUE meaning of Christmas.

Yes, I know that you know, Christmas is all about Jesus.  I know that you know that the REAL reason for the season is to celebrate His birth... but have you taken the time recently to stop and really reflect on what we are celebrating?

As our pastor said yesterday, it can't be found in a Christmas movie on the Hallmark Channel. Yes, it might be a tear-jerker, pulling on our heartstrings, but if we aren't careful, if we aren't intentional, we might find ourselves more "moved" over an emotional movie or a clever advertising scheme than the true meaning of Christmas.

So, how can we be intentional to have a meaningful, worshipful Christmas season when we are so busy?

I don't have any magical, easy answers to this question. Actually, if you've found some way or some method or some thing over the years, please share it in the comments . . .(Scroll down to Vickie's Post, "A Simple Christmas" for a good start!)

For now, I am starting with a simple prayer. I started praying this way as a single college student prepping for exams and feeling overwhelmed during this time of year. I asked that God would make my Christmas experience somehow more significant by impressing upon me something "new" from the familiar old story. Every year I have prayed this, He has answered.

Despite the busy-ness and through the bustle, God faithfully deepens my holiday season with depths from the simple story my 3 year old can explain. He has promised that if we seek Him, we will find Him - especially if we are seeking Him in a manger.... The shepherds and the wise men responded in worship, I have found we will too . . .